March 7, 2018 / 11:43 AM / 9 months ago

EU offers Britain modest free trade deal, limited financial services access

BRUSSELS, March 7 (Reuters) - The European Union on Wednesday offered Britain a free-trade agreement for their future relationship after Brexit, a draft text showed, outlining a much more limited cooperation than London had called for.

A draft joint position of the remaining 27 EU members on their new deal with Britain, which was seen by Reuters ahead of the official publication later on Wednesday, said the bloc was determined to foster a close partnership with Britain.

“At the same time... eing outside the Customs Union and the Single Market will inevitably lead to frictions... This unfortunately will have negative economic consequences,” it read.

Crucially, after British calls to include financial services in the future free-trade deal with the EU, the bloc said Britain would be treated as any other third country.

“In services, with the aim of allowing market access to provide services under host state rules, including as regards right of establishment for providers, to an extent consistent with the fact that the UK will become a third country and the Union and the UK will no longer share a common regulatory, supervisory, enforcement and judiciary framework,” the document said. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Jan Strupczewski, Alissa de Carbonnel)

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